33* walk up the rise toward the house, said idly, "There comes Parsons; wonder what he wants." Parsons had come to deliver a message. Mr. Sills had been trying to get the Ball place on the telephone, he said, but the line was down. Coming up, he had seen an old gum tree fallen across the line down the pike a piece. It was so rotten it was ready to come down if you looked hard at it, anyway. But Mr. Sills thought Doctor MacDonald ought to know that a gang of men had taken out a Mr. Elkins over near Bardsville the night before and whipped him with a whip. The men had beat on the door and told Mr. Elkins to come out or they would put dynamite under the house, and he had come on out because he was afraid for his wife and family. They whipped him, then they got the wife and children out and dynamited the house, anyway. They just hurt one wing of the house, though, Mr. Parsons said. Nobody knew exactly why they did it. "It don't matter why," Doctor MacDonald interrupted, and rose from his chair and strode to the hearth. " One of them said it was because Mr. Elkins didn't fire his nigger tenants," Mr. Parsons said, " and then again some of them said it was because he wasn't in the Association. But they was all drinking hard, it looks like, saying one thing and another/* " It don't matter why," Doctor MacDonald declared. His long face was pale with the fury that was growing in him. " It just matters who. By God, if I just knew who!" "Mr. Elkins was an anti-Association man," Mr. Parsons observed, as though in placation. Doctor MacDonald wheeled at him. "I don't care if he was president of the Alta Company; I don't care if he's ami or not. They did it without authority. If they're Association people did it, they did it without authority. If they're not Association-----" He paused, his hands clenching and un- clenching about the pipe he held. "They're not Association," Professor Ball said; "they're not our people."